Courtesy: Joe Browning Freshman Sam Williams teamed up with Michael Reilly at No. 2 doubles
NORFOLK, Virginia - Top-seeded and 37th-ranked VCU shut out third-seeded and No. 42 UNCW, 4-0, early Sunday to capture the 2012 Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Tennis Championship.
Inclement weather forced the two teams inside at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center on Old Dominion's campus and the change was an adjustment for the Seahawks.
"We certainly tip our hats and congratulate VCU for playing a great match and having a great season," said fifth-year UNCW head coach Mait DuBois. "It's disappointing that we prepared for this day the entire year and played on a surface we haven't played on all year.
"It was an unlucky break and, hopefully, we can get an at-large bid and have another chance to lace them up."
The Rams, who won all three of their matches in the four-day event by 4-0 scores, captured their 13th CAA crown in 17 years and avenged a 4-3 loss to the Seahawks in last year's final. UNCW and VCU have played for the hardware three of the last four years, with the Seahawks winning in 2009 and 2011.
The Seahawks now stand 17-6 and hope to land an at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals. Coach Mait DuBois and his team have compiled a 6-5 mark against 11 nationally-ranked opponents this season. The list includes victories over N.C. State (#21), Memphis (#33), South Florida (#45) and Georgia State (#55).
VCU started its path to the title in doubles play on Sunday with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. The top tandem of Alexis Heugas and Antoine Baroz, ranked 70th nationally, beat No. 85 Chris Cooprider and Kosta Blank, 8-4. The No. 2 duo of Filip Svensson and Max Wennakoski then downed UNCW's Michael Reilly and Sam Williams, 8-4.
The Rams then closed out the match with three straight-set victories in singles. Wennakoski cruised at No. 2 with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Cooprider and Baroz followed by defeating Pedro Mol, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5. The decisive point came at No. 6 when the Rams' Jaime Vazquez stopped Reilly, 6-4, 6-1.
UNCW advanced to its third championship match with victories over No. 6 William & Mary and No. 2 Georgia State.